Absolutely perfect weather and track conditions greeted competitors, officials and spectators at the first day of the Teagle Excavations ARB Pines Enduro, held in the south east pine forests of South Australian today.
Teagle’s Quarry and the Tantanoola State Forest have been the staging ground for the iconic event for thirty plus years and today’s conditions were some of the best experienced, a stark contrast to last year’s wet and muddy slush that saw the event cut short.
Over 5,000 spectators stood ten deep on the quarry hill in awe of the 50 off road machines strutting their wares.
Teagle’s Quarry came alive with roar of race engines at 12:30 today with the running of the Hards Transport Prologue; the True Build Racing Team of Dan Auricht and Grant Connelly #2 beating the field of 50 quality competitors through the 5km track. Only a second off Auricht’s pace was long time Pines campaigners Mark Burrows and Colin Hodge in the Nissan VQ35 powered MBR Jimco, with the South Australian Element Off Road team of Carl Haby and Brenton Gallasch continuing their picture perfect 2011, driving the #56 Pro buggy into third.
The top ten positions were then up for the taking with the running of the PMD Race Products Top Ten Shoot Out, the results of which over road the initial prologue standings. The big mover in the PMD Race Products Top Ten Shoot Out was current Australian Off Road champions David Fellows and Mark Bergamin, storming the Peter Kittle Motor Sports Jimco from a fifth prologue position into first for tomorrow’s race start, shaving six seconds off their original time. Mark Burrows and Colin Hodge #21 maintained their second position, putting them along side Fellows for the two at a time start. Carl Haby and Brenton Gallasch also held onto their third spot, recording an identical top ten time as their prologue, proving that consistency is the key to being at the pointy end of the field.
Sunday’s racing takes off at 8:30 where the 50 strong field tackle the 65km track, taking in the logging tracks on the Tantanoola Pines Forests. The two at a time start will entertain the crowd as competitors vie for the advantage heading out into the forest.
Photographer 1: Kane Naaraat, kaneophoto.com.au
Photographer 2: Van Nixon